Greek donuts you say? Yes indeed! Or to put it another way…Loukoumades, that is what these tiny treats are officially called.
If you go to any street festival in Greece, you will see a number of vendors selling these popular little donuts. They may be tiny, but do they ever pack a punch!
Traditionally, these little donuts are dressed with lashings of honey, a dusting of cinnamon and toasted sesame seeds or crushed toasted walnuts. And forget using a fork, when eating these on the go, all you are given is a toothpick to grab the little suckers – hey, it works!
The recipe I use is a combination of my mom’s as well as the famous chef George Calombaris’, the addition of cornflour really makes the dough, and helps ensure it is nice and crispy. In the end, what you want is a donut that is crispy on the outside and soft and gooey on the inside.
So, enough jibber jabber – here is the recipe
- 300 grams plain flour
- 25 grams cornflour
- ½ tsp salt
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 12 grams dried active yeast
- 12 fluid ounces water, warm
- Vegetable oil for deep frying
- Honey (if possible thyme scented honey. This is honey derived from bees that have drawn nectar from thyme flowers…really lovely)
- Cinnamon, just a pinch
- Toasted sesame seeds or Crushed Toasted Walnuts (Optional)*Pistachios work great here, as well
- First combine the yeast and the water, and let sit for about 5 minutes to allow the yeast to ferment. Not only are you activating the yeast, but also checking whether it’s good enough to use. In the end, what you are looking for is a nice frothy glass of yeast & water (definitely not one to drink!)
- Separately, sift the cornflour, plain flour, salt and sugar – so all the dry ingredients.
- Make a well in the centre of the flour mix, and gradually add the water & yeast. Quickly whisk all the ingredients together, and what you should have is a thick batter.
- Let the batter stand for about 15 minutes, and then place in a fridge for about 1 hour. This helps to ensure that the donuts will be crispy, simply because the shock of cold batter hitting very hot oil, will help crisp these donuts up nicely. The same can be said for tempura batter – the colder the batter, the hotter the oil, all the better.
- Heat about 1 ½ inches worth of oil in a pot. Make sure the oil is very, very hot – about 185C. This is really important. If the oil isn’t hot enough, the donuts will be soggy and all this work would’ve been for nothing…yup, pretty sad.
- Once the oil is hot enough, drop heaped teaspoons of the dough into the oil. Allow to cook until the donuts are golden brown – about 2 minutes.
- Place cooked donuts on kitchen roll to remove excess oil. While hot, cover the donuts with plenty of lashings of honey, pinch of cinnamon and crushed nuts (which can be optional).